Monday, 26 October 2009

Autumn Wonders and Mask Revealed

I went for a bit of a wander through the woods yesterday. It was time to photograph the wild roses again. This year we missed out on the Fall colours because a ten-day cold spell killed the leaves while they were still green. So it is odd walking through the wooded path with green leaves littering the ground. But it is still pretty and nicely unusual.

Some leaves had a chance to change colours, but not many.

I really lucked out on my walk. I was trying to identify a plant... while I was looking I discovered a little critter hiding out. I don't know if it is alive, so I decided it is just sleeping. I took my pictures quietly and left the ladybug to rest until Spring. I think the plant is a wild pea?

As usual, I came home full of inspiration. I spent time in my studio and finished my mask project for the quilt retreat I am attending this week. It ended up becoming a work on a 16" x 18" canvas with a painted background. I am pleased and not too shy to share it with fellow fibre artists this week.

I am away for a week now, but will have lots to share when I come home. Including all the other fibre artists trading cards. I'll post again on November 2nd. Have a good week.

Thursday, 22 October 2009


Next week I am attending an art quilt retreat near Edmonton. It is mainly a professional development retreat with a few fun activities in the mix. One of the challenges we are participating in is a project with a mask theme. Here is a preview of what I am working on.

We are also dressing up on Halloween, but I haven't figured that part out yet. I have a wizards hat, but nothing else... so I will have to get creative soon.

One thing at at time!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009


I just returned from Edmonton. It was time to replenish supplies! It wasn't really... it was time to visit my daughter at University, but I also spent many hours in quilt and wool shops. I tried to just look, but that didn't work very well.

I did buy more felting wool and a wonderful book on felting wool animals. It is called "Wool Pets". I am really excited to start working on something from this book. Not that I need more pets... just another creative avenue to explore.

I also saw a unique art quilt exhibition by Lorraine Roy. The exhibition is at the Alberta Crafts Council Gallery. I love trees and Lorraine captures everything about them beautifully from leaves to roots. The detail in her work is exquisite. It is well worth seeing this exhibition if you have time.

My little vacation was inspiring so I am brewing ideas in my studio today!

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The Joys of Small Quilts

Today I spent time working on some art trading cards. It was fun. I felt like one of Santa's elves working in  my little shop. I want to make 40 trading cards and so the process is a bit assembly-line-ish.

I needle-punched roving for the top of the card and sewed it between two strips of black as you can see. I decided to have a little fun with some thin copper I bought from a fibre art store this summer. I used a ball-point pen and carved a little quilt into the copper and added my "M". I am happy with the results.

I will exchange them in two weeks at a quilt retreat for the Fibre Art Network being held near Edmonton. One more thing almost off Santa's list :-)

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Memories of Paris

First off... thanks to everyone for their kind comments on my blog for the Quilt Festival. What a great time and what a treasure trove of great quilts! I still haven't made it through the list of quilts to visit, but I am working on it.

My daughter, Sam, came home from University this weekend for a Thanksgiving visit. We enjoyed her company and had many good laughs. Seeing her so happy and enjoying the simple life of home reminded me of another happy time we spent together two summers ago in Paris.

We managed to sneak away, just the two of us, for six days in Paris. It was magical. My favourite evening was when we decided to make a spur-of-the-moment visit to the Eiffel Tower. We got off the Metro at the far end of a park. We could see the tower in the distance, but it was only about two feet tall, just like we had seen in all the pictures :-) As we walked through the park and got closer to the tower, it grew. When we finally reached the tower, the size of it was overwhelming.

We decided to go to the top. The sun had hidden itself behind some clouds and it began to rain lightly. We grabbed some fries from a food stand and stood in line for the elevator. A half-hour later, we were on our way!

As the evening wained, we looked across Paris as far as the eye could see. The lights twinkled on and Paris came alive under the night sky. We watched the boats on the river and all the little people walking around at the base of the tower. Reluctantly, after an hour, we decided to descend. It was cool and slightly windy and poor Sam was shivering.

As we walked off the elevator at the base of the tower we were approached by young men selling mini-Eiffel Towers that blinked a myriad electric colours in the dark. the men were selling them illegally it turned out and as security guards approached all the little towers went running with their men into the crowds.

We took a few more pictures and then hurried off to catch the Metro back to our hotel.

Good memories that last a lifetime.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival... Welcome!

Today is the beginning of the virtual quilt show. It runs from October 9th to 16th and there are already many, many participants. If you want to see the other quilts participating, please click on this link Blogger's Quilt Festival. Below is my quilt for the show...

This quilt is titled "Self Portrait". When I was attending university doing my Bachelor's Degree in Design, I studied colour in many of my courses. I took a year long course on painting, which really ended up as a year of mixing paint colours from scratch... not like Da Vinci, who made his paint pigment from minerals and other goodies... I had a limited palette consisting of about six tubes of paint. From these six, I had to learn to make any colour in the colour wheel spectrum and all colours in between... hundreds of them. It was fascinating and taught me to look at the colours of our every day environment in an entirely new way.

Right after the course was finished, I made this quilt. I wanted to show how my colour sense had changed and how using bold, bright colours was not intimidating like it used to be. I started with light colours in the center of the spiral and worked through various gradients until I got to the bold colours at the end. It was a fun project and took a lot of different colour combinations before I got to the end product. There were little squares of fabric everywhere!

The quilt is machine-quilted in variegated rainbow thread. In each corner of the border I quilted a silhouette of my hand in black thread to highlight that working with my hands is how I get the most out of my life.

Enjoy the quilt... and if you have time, please visit my other sites Etsy, Time for Quilting!, and Sunflower Design. Thanks for dropping by!

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

It Snowed!

It snowed today! I can't be sad because it is so very beautiful. Soft white butterflies fluttering to the ground. We've had a long Indian Summer in Northern Alberta. The frost didn't come until October 1st (usually it is at the end of August), and most of the leaves on the trees are either green or just turning colour.

As a creative person, it is important to take time to play. So with my bouncy friend, Rosie, and my camera... I went outside to play in the snow. Now I am full of inspiration. Enjoy my pictures!

Snowflakes on Leaf

Large snowflake on bud of Horse Chestnut tree

Snow scoops

Snow drop

Icy tomatoes

Leaf dress

Rosie snowball

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

A Great Weekend Tour

Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and had a look at my studio. I had such a fun weekend visting other creative people's studios (and I am still touring with a second look at some!).
The event inspired me to spend all day Sunday and Monday in my studio just enjoying the space... and, of course, creating.

This weekend, October 9th to 13th, there is a virtual quilt show. You can look at all the quilts... and/or if you are a quilter, you can participate as well. Click on the Blogger's Quilt Festival button to the right. This button will take you to the link that explains how everything works. Last spring's quilt show had almost 500 participants! This promises to be another fun and inspiring event.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Welcome to my Studio! Come right in...

Hi there,

Welcome to my Studio! I'm excited to share my creative space. It is nothing fancy, but it is all my own. I did tidy a little before I took pictures, but most of my things are within sight for inspiration.

This is the main view of my studio as I walk in. to the right, I have a lovely, large light table/work surface where I spend most of my time working.

This is a close-up of my wall that I use to put quilts in process. I love colour and this way I get lots of it... and I don't forget about the projects either!

This is the set of shelves (from IKEA) that divide my room from the rest of the family room. I do have a family and they are very supportive of my space and time. I keep some of my stash here (more colour!), all of my creativity-related books and of course my Studio and Quilting Arts Magazines.

This is the other end of my studio. Some more shelves, my little bulletin board of inspirational writing and some of my children's art work. My daughter is 20 and my son is 18.

Some of the artwork is from when they were in elementary school!

However, this series of paintings was made by my daughter for a Christmas present for me last year :-)

More colour!

I collect teapots and sometimes they come in handy...

One of my latest projects using wool roving.

Bulletin board of inspiration (close-up).

This is Rosie, my best quilting buddy ever. She keeps me company all day and never complains :-)

Hope you enjoyed the little tour. Please take the time to check out my quilts at Etsy and my other web sites listed at the top of my blog. Come again!

Marcy Horswill